Firm Members

Firm Members

James M. Cline

James M. ClineJim received his B.A. with distinction in Political Science from the University of Washington in 1980, an M.A. in Political Science from UW in 1982, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Notre Dame in 1986, and his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1986.

After passing the Washington State Bar, Jim served as an associate in a Seattle labor law firm and as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the King County Prosecutor’s Office. Since leaving the Prosecutor’s Office in 1990, Jim has represented law enforcement labor organizations throughout the state.

He has participated in hundreds of cases at every level of state and federal court and various administrative and arbitration tribunals. He has made over 35 appellate oral arguments between his appearances at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Washington State Supreme Court and the Washington Court of Appeals. He has been involved in the negotiation of nearly 300 labor contracts. He has provided counsel in about 160 officer-involved shooting incidents. He has participated in 19 Washington State interest arbitration proceedings.

Jim is a frequent speaker and the author of numerous articles and two books: The Rights of Washington Public Safety Employees: Member’s Manual and The Rights of Washington Public Safety Employees: Representative’s Manual. He is currently planning and developing a number of other public safety labor law books, including a soon to be released book concerning the representation of injured public safety personnel.


Christopher J. Casillas

Christopher J. CasillasChris is a 2003 graduate of the Seattle University School of Law, where he distinguished himself academically, graduating with the high honors of Magna Cum Laude, reserved for the top students in the class. Chris previously received his B.A. with honors in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2000. After joining what was then known as Cline and Associates, Chris took a leave of absence in 2006 to attend graduate school at Cornell University in New York. While there, he earned a Masters of Arts Degree and Ph.D. in Government. During his time at Cornell, Chris co-authored an article on the U.S. Supreme Court that was published in the prestigious American Journal of Political Science.

Chris helps to manage the nearly 60 different labor unions represented by Cline & Casillas.  He has been the chief negotiator in dozens of negotiations for labor agreements and routinely litigates various contract grievances and unfair labor practice cases. He has also developed an expertise in interest arbitration proceedings, having litigated nearly a dozen such cases in his career. Since 2015, Chris has served on the Client Consultation Committee with the Public Employment Relations Commission, an advisory committee to the State’s labor board.

Chris also serves as a member of the adjunct faculty at Seattle University School of Law as a part-time professor. He teaches multiple courses on advanced Constitutional Law subjects.


M. Katherine Kremer

M. Katherine KremerKate received her B.A. in Political Science from Fairfield University in 1983 and her J.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School in 1987.

After graduation from law school, Kate was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar Association. She practiced several years at the Northwestern Legal Center where she was involved in a variety of civil litigation.

Kate has contributed to the Cline law practice since 1995. Kate’s responsibilities include legal research and writing, litigation and preparation of statistical analysis reports for labor negotiations and interest arbitration. She is responsible for digesting and summarizing more than a 1000 labor contracts within the Cline and Associates database. She has prepared the Master Brief that is the proprietary Cline & Casillas brief used to develop interest arbitration arguments. She has testified a number of times about her database reports and is likely the most knowledgeable person in the state on the contents of public safety labor contracts..


Loyd J. Willaford

Loyd J. WillafordLoyd received his B.A., summa cum laude, in History from Eastern Washington University in 1995.  He went on to earn an M.A. in Japanese History from the University of Oregon in 1998.  Loyd then spent several years as a salesperson, investment advisor, and teacher before graduating from the Seattle University School of Law with a J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Barristers in 2009.  Before and during law school, Loyd worked in an employment law firm on discrimination cases.  During law school, he was a summer clerk at the Seattle Regional Office of the National Labor Relations Board.

Following graduation, Loyd served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Kevin M. Korsmo of the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III.    After working at the Court of Appeals Loyd worked as a civil litigator handling a variety of cases including a wide range of employment cases. In 2016, Loyd joined Cline and Casillas where he divides his time between the firm’s labor practice and its individual employment law practice.  Loyd has tried multiple cases to verdict (both bench and jury trials) and has argued several times before the Washington State Court of Appeals.

Loyd is an active member of the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ).   He has published several articles on employment law topics.  In 2016, Super Lawyer’s magazine selected Loyd as a “Rising Star” in Labor and Employment Law.

Loyd is a native of Washington State.  He enjoys hiking, backpacking, and playing board and card games with his wife Erika.


Sarah Derry

Sarah DerrySarah earned her B.A. in Economics from Scripps College in Southern California in 2010. She graduated summa cum laude and spent her third year of college at Oxford’s St. Edmund Hall, where she joined the crew team. She graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2013 in the top 5% of her class, and was a member of Moot Court Honor Board.

After graduation, Sarah clerked for the Justice Winfree of the Alaska Supreme Court in Fairbanks, Alaska. She returned to her home in Seattle after her clerkship, and joined Cline & Casillas in January, 2015. Her previous work experience focused on plaintiff-side employment litigation. She is passionate about helping individuals assert their rights and helping guide employees through this stressful process.

Sarah divides her time at Cline & Casillas between labor and employment law matters. In September 2017, she became the Chair-Elect of the Washington State Bar Association’s Civil Rights Section. She  is a Washington Employment Lawyers Association member and has been involved with the Pacific Coast Labor and Employment Law Conference.

Sarah is an avid reader and is currently serving as a member of the Dunn Gardens Board.



Seattle, Washington | P2 Graphic Design